News Update on Physics Students : April 21

[1] The initial knowledge state of college physics students

An instrument to assess the basic knowledge state of students taking a first course in physics has been designed and validated. Measurements with the instrument show that the student’s initial qualitative, common sense beliefs about motion and causes has a large effect on performance in physics, but conventional instruction induces only a small change in those beliefs.

[2] Helping physics students learn how to learn

Students’ “epistemological” beliefs—their views about the nature of knowledge and learning—affect how they approach physics courses. For instance, a student who believes physics knowledge to consist primarily of disconnected facts and formulas will study differently from a student who views physics as an interconnected web of concepts. Unfortunately, previous studies show that physics courses, even ones that help students learn concepts particularly well, generally do not lead to significant changes in students’ epistemological beliefs. This paper discusses instructional practices and curricular elements, suitable for both college and high school, that helped students develop substantially more sophisticated beliefs about knowledge and learning, as measured by the Maryland Physics Expectations Survey and by the Epistemological Beliefs Assessment for Physical Science.

[3] Another reason that physics students learn by rote

Using written questionnaires, I surveyed introductory physics students about how they study and about how they would advise a hypothetical student to study if she were trying to learn physics deeply with no grade pressure. The survey teases apart students’ “epistemological” beliefs about learning and understanding physics from their more course-specific beliefs about how to earn high grades. The results indicate that students perceive “trying to understand physics well” to be a significantly different activity from “trying to do well in the course.”

[4] The Influence of Reinforcement Skill on Academic Performance of Secondary School Physics Students in Obio-Akpor Lga, Rivers State Nigeria

This study is aimed at assessing the influence of reinforcement skill on the Academic Performance of Secondary School Physics students in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, using three research questions and one hypothesis. The study which adopts the descriptive and quasi-experimental research design employed a sample size of sixty teachers and one hundred and twenty students of senior secondary One (SSI) in the sample Area. The questionnaire titled “Teachers Reinforcement Skill Questionnaire” (TRSQ) was part of the instrument and fundamentals of Measurement in Physics. The statistical mean was used to analyse the data for the research questions while standard deviation and Z-test were used to analyze the data to obtain the validity of the hypothesis. The findings revealed that some factors such as insincere reinforcement, adoption of only one form of reinforcement, among others, hinder proper application of reinforcement skill. It was also found that the use of reinforcement influences the academic performance of Physics students. Based on this, it was recommended that teachers should always apply reinforcement skill, be sincere in the application and attend training programmes on teaching skills.

[5] Influence of Planned Repetition Skill on the Academic Performance of Secondary School Physics Students in Khana LGA, Rivers State, Nigeria

This study assessed the influence of Planned repetition skill on the academic performance of students in secondary school Physics in Khana Local government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria, using five research questions and one hypothesis. The population consists of teachers and Physics students in the secondary section. Out of the 240 students in the sample area, 160 of them were selected in addition to the 30 teachers selected from the total of 39 teachers to make up the sample size, with the aid of random sampling technique. The questionnaire titled “Application of Planned Repetition Skill Questionnaire” (APRSQ) was part of the instrument and a topic on fundamentals of motion in physics was used for the quasi- experimental study. The mean  was used to analyse the research questions and the z – test analysis for the hypothesis which was tested at .05 level of significance. The findings show that Physics teachers have low awareness of the concept and application techniques of the Planned repetition skill and that this and other factors militate against the utilization of this teaching skill. Based on this it was recommended that the government and other stakeholders in the education sector should fund and organize trainings, workshops and seminars for teachers on this and other teaching skill; measures should be put in place towards ensuring that professional teachers are employed, among others.

 

Reference

[1] Halloun, I.A. and Hestenes, D., 1985. The initial knowledge state of college physics students. American journal of Physics53(11), pp.1043-1055.

[2] Elby, A., 2001. Helping physics students learn how to learn. American Journal of Physics69(S1), pp.S54-S64.

[3] Elby, A., 1999. Another reason that physics students learn by rote. American Journal of Physics67(S1), pp.S52-S57.

[4] Mandah, N.N.S. and Gbarato, O.L., 2016. The Influence of Reinforcement Skill on Academic Performance of Secondary School Physics Students in Obio-Akpor Lga, Rivers State Nigeria. Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science, pp.1-11.

[5] Gbarato, O.L. and Mandah, N.N.S., 2017. Influence of planned repetition skill on the academic performance of secondary school physics students in Khana LGA, Rivers State, Nigeria. Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science, pp.1-15.

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